Monday, July 31, 2006
Once More, For the Record
On Saturday, CBS Channel 11 here in Dallas put together a nice piece reporting on the decision by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to award Central Dallas Community Development Corporation $12 million in low-income, housing tax credits to be used in bringing the City Walk @ Akard project to the abandoned building at 511 N. Akard in Downtown Dallas.
The report was really thorough, balanced and longer than most stories we've gotten in the past. It also ran first as the 10 o'clock news' "top story."
One segment of the story involved an interview with a man whom I suppose already lives Downtown in one of the renovated, upscale high-rise buildings. The story had been positive until he began to talk. He referred to the recent incidents of violence and murder Downtown. He then described how he would be afraid to walk home at night by our building once it is completed and leased up. The clear implication was that formerly homeless persons and low-wage workers make for dangerous neighbors.
Just for the record, one more time, the violent crimes recently committed in Downtown Dallas in the wee hours of the morning have not involved homeless persons or low-wage earners. The violence has centered around popular night clubs and has involved people with money, cars, plenty of alcohol and more than one personal dispute that began inside the bars.
Just because a person lives on the street does not mean that he or she is a violent or criminal threat.
Just because a person has a low-paying job in the Downtown sector does not mean that he or she is a criminal lurking in the shadows ready to mug the first person who happens by.
After awhile, the negative stereotyping gets really tiresome.